(CNSNews.com) – Since New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed the Reproductive Health Act into law on Jan. 22 – a law that allows abortion up to the moment of birth – several states are trying to pass similar legislation. They are doing so apparently out of concern that Roe v. Wade could be overturned. They want to ensure that abortion on-demand is codified at their state level.
“With the threat of a Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe, we need to repeal this [older] law to protect health care providers and keep abortion safe and legal,” said New Mexico Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces) in explaining why her state needs abortion across the board.
“We can’t go back to those days when women had to risk their lives just to get health care,” she said, as reported in the Santa Fe-New Mexican.
Elisabeth Smith, chief counsel for State Policy & Advocacy for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said, “there will be a really large number of bills introduced [in 2019] that both seek to really restrict reproductive rights or expand access to them.”
Fr. Frank Pavone, president of Priests for Life, told CNSNews.com by email that “these [new] extreme laws, as I explain in my video, not only make it easier to get late-term abortions, but they also repeal very reasonable regulations which the courts permit even under Roe v Wade, but which still decrease the numbers of abortions and therefore harm the financial bottom line of the abortion industry.”
New York’s Reproductive Health Act, which was approved in the state Senate 38-24, allows abortion across the board, even at the moment of birth, provided it is “necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.” In this matter, mental, emotional, or psychological “health” is included. In addition, the law allows health care practitioners (non-doctors) to perform abortions.
Following New York’s action, legislators in Vermont introduced H. 57, “an act relating to preserving the right to abortion,” that mirrors the New York law but would also make abortion-on-demand a state constitutional right. The bill currently is in the General Assembly’s Health and Welfare Committee.
Vermont State Rep. Ann Pugh (D), a sponsor of H. 57, said, “The purpose of this bill is to clarify for Vermonters at a time of national uncertainty. It will reinforce a woman’s right to reproductive health care freedom.”
As reported by My Champlain Valley, supporters of H. 57 “say they want to ensure abortion remains a right for woman in the event the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the case that legalized abortion nationwide. They say the proposal would do nothing more than ensure that women's access to abortion continues as available now.”
The Rhode Island state legislature will vote March 12 on its Reproductive Health Care Act, which would legalize abortions up to the point of birth, even if Roe v. Wade is struck down. Like the New York law, this bill would allow abortion at any time if it is necessary to “preserve the life or health of the mother.” In other words, abortion on demand, even in the ninth month.
Another pro-abortion bill is in the pipeline in Illinois. The Reproductive Health Act (HB 2495) would codify abortion as a “fundamental right.” The bill “[p]rovides that every individual who becomes pregnant has a fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion, and to make autonomous decisions about how to exercise that right.”
It also “[p]rovides that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law, of this State.”
New Mexico lawmakers and activists are pushing House Bill 51, which pro-life advocates call “the most extreme bill in the nation,” reported Fox News. New Mexico’s bill, like in New York and the other states, would allow abortion across the board.
"This bill is a Trojan horse backed by the national abortion lobby in order to establish abortion as a human right by removing so-called 'religious refusals' and turn every hospital, clinic and doctor's office into an abortion clinic or referral center," said Elisa Martinez, the executive director of New Mexico Alliance for Life.
Massachusetts is close to passing new pro-abortion legislation. The Remove Obstacles and Expand Abortion Access (ROE) Act would allow an abortion to take place “beyond twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy… in the light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the person’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient.”
According to Lifesitenews, “The ROE Act is part of a broader trend of states on both sides preparing for an assumed reversal of Roe v. Wade in the not-too-distant future.”
A bill in Virginia proposed by Del. Cathy Tran (D) would have allowed an abortion even when a pregnant woman was dilating. However, it never reached a vote, and was tabled in a subcommittee 5-3.
Lila Rose, president of the pro-life group Live Action, believes these extreme abortion laws at the state level will only hurt liberals and the Democratic Party. According to her, democrats “are going to lose every time if they continue to keep with the extremists on this, with the Amelia Bonows shouting their abortion, with the activists saying 'abortion through all nine months, late term abortion is great, paid for by the taxpayers,’” she said on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Conservative Ramesh Ponnuru stated in National Review, “Supporters of the country’s expansive abortion regime now fear that the Supreme Court will retreat from it, either by declaring that the Constitution permits states to protect unborn children in general or by letting them offer more protection.”
“That’s why they are pushing legislation in the states to codify that regime,” he said.
“It is an effort that is forcing supporters of abortion to be a little more candid about what they really want: an extreme regime that denies any meaningful protection to unborn children and threatens the protection for born ones,” said Ponnuru.